Cardinal Burke: A Warning and The Importance of Family

The first is from Michael Voris with a warning from Cardinal Raymond Burke.

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The second is about the importance of the family and how "The Family is a Little Church".

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Fix the Family Video: Homeshooling Gives us TIME to Form our Children


John Preiss, President of the Fatima Family Apostolate, shares some quick thoughts on homeschooling...

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My View: Couldn't agree more about the importance of TIME. My wife and I were just talking last night about some stuff in the news and how it is a blessing to have our kids schooled at home. It gives them a chance to learn in a loving environment where they can grow in confidence, but most importantly grow in their faith and morals.

The Four Temperaments

Got an email from The Catholic Company with a sale on books about the four temperament types. Anyway, temperaments come up quite often in discussions with people in our lives and I'm always interested in the different types of people there are. In the advertisement for the books, I really liked the summary of the four temperaments...

Choleric: Enthusiasm, energy, intelligence, and a strong will. A classic go-getter who takes charges and gets things accomplished. Extraverted and self-confident, comfortable taking charge. Will always let you know what he is thinking. Values success, optimistic, extremely rational. Can grasp the big picture. Not a very good listener and hates to waste time! Does not like to delegate, is often quick to judge or form opinions and quickly drives ahead, often without planning.

Melancholic: Values the ideal (truth, beauty, justice, all that is noble). Thoughtful, pius, likes solitude and reflection. Sensitive and idealistic, tends to be introverted, deeply concerned with injustice and vice. Principled, consistent, faithful, and persevering, orderly, diligent, and detail oriented. Can often be critical or judgmental of others who don't "measure up." Slower to react, but the reactions last a long time.

Sanguine: Creative, fun-loving, high-spirited, tendency to look on the bright side and seek adventure. Enjoys people and lives "in the moment". Does not dwell on the past and is very optimistic. Enterprising and creative, enjoys inspiring others. Quick to react and quick to make new friends. Eye for detail and appearances. Eager to please. Can be inconsistent, superficial, and impulsive. Often talks before thinking.

Phlegmatic: Reserved, prudent, sensible, reflective, respectful, and dependable. Not easily insulted or provoked. Not exuberant in speech or action. Loyal, committed, supportive. Iron-willed. Often able to diffuse tense situations and is calm under pressure. Very balanced. Excellent listener. Thoughtful in speech. Do not like conflict and confrontation. Dependable, punctual and orderly, but have a tendency to be introverted. Sometimes thought to be unassertive and lacking in spontaneity.

I know which one I am, what are you?

Claire's Photo of the Day: Picture with Uncle Doug

Claire is always taking pictures of pictures.

Spring Planting

Here's a few photos of our spring planting. The kids had fun and were very good helpers. Hopefully I'll be able to post some photos later of our flowers and vegetables growing! The girls helped Mary plant some containers on the deck and the boys helped me plant beans and a corn fort in the backyard.

Claire had alot of fun helping

Taking a Break

Teresa loved getting her hands dirty

Everyone is Working Hard

The Whole Crew

Mark helping shovel and Teresa filling the cement blocks with dirt for the onions

Every time I download pictures from the camera, there is a picture of Claire she took herself!

Snow, Cake and Surgery

Here's three recent photos from our latest family adventures!

We had alot of fun this day as we played "Cut the Pie" and enjoyed a nice winter day. This is one of my favorite family photos! I admit, Saturdays can't ever get here quick enough or last long enough!

Teresa Philomena turned 3-years old last week. It's hard to believe the last three years have gone so fast.

We found out a little over a week ago that Mark had an inguinal hernia and needed to have surgery. He was a very good patient and the doctors and nurses said he did a terrific job and was "such a blessing". He's doing fine and it didn't take long for him to return to his old self.

Tips for Successful Fathers

Here's a good article with steps for Fathers to be successful in marriage and fatherhood. I know I am challenged daily and it's good to tuck away these steps as a reminder of how important being a husband and father is.

The article also caught my eye as it features this great quote from Pope John Paul II...

Pope John Paul II wrote: "The history of mankind, the history of salvation, passes by way of the family . . . the family is placed at the center of the great struggle between good and evil, between life and death, between love and all that is opposed to love. To the family is entrusted the task of striving, first and foremost, to unleash the forces of good, the source of which is found in Christ the Redeemer of man."

How can you not be fired up after a quote like that!

Read 8 Habits of Highly Successful Fathers at Fathers for Good

Novena for Families

Read a new post at Catholic Dads about New Novena for Families and I wanted to share.

Fr. Francisco Faus of São Paulo, Brazil has added the Novena For Families (click to print), to the other popular Novenas, Novena for Work and the Novena for the Sick.

Here's a quick note about the Novena for Families...

This Novena, prepared for couples by Fr Francisco Faus, aims to ask God through the intercession of St Josemaría, for the grace to maintain or continually improve a truly Christian family, on the bedrock of the love for Christ and the example of the Holy Family, the foundations on which — with the grace of the Holy Spirit — every Christian family should be built.

I'm looking forward to praying this Novena for Families with my family. One of the staples of my prayer list is from St. Josemaria Escriva, his booklet Praying the Rosary with St. Josemaria Escriva, is one of my favorite ways to say the Rosary.

Photo from Josemaria Escriva. Founder of Opus Dei

Manager of His Home by Steve Maxwell

Manager of His HomeJust wanted to share a quick note about this talk I listened to. It's call "Manager of His Home" and it's by Steve Maxwell of It's packed with scripture references and insight specifically for homeschooling dads and their homes. If you get a chance, I highly recommend it! Mr. Maxwell really dives into the husband as the head of the home and family and helps point you in the right direction to raising and teaching your kids and strengthening your relationship with your wife in the process. I've only listened to disc one so far, but am looking forward to part 2.

For more info, you can visit We discovered the site from my sister-in-law (who I borrowed the talk from as well) as they feature products for helping you organize and schedule your home and homeschool. Homeschooling is a very difficult endeavor, but the rewards are countless. If you're thinking about it or have any questions, drop me an email at

Grand Rapids Family to become new directors of Marian Center

A major announcement was made at the Marian Conference XVIII last weekend about the future of the Marian Center as current directors Josh and Lori Mercer will be turning over the reigns to Bryan and Julie Tuck. This is a blessed occasion as the Marian Center begins a new chapter serving the Catholic faithful in northern Michigan.

I currently serve on the board of directors for the Marian Center and will be helping Bryan as he brings his strong graphic design and website marketing background to the online presence of this apostolate. Follow the link below for some info about the Tuck Family and audio of their introductory speech at the Marian Conference.

Read Our move to the Marian Center in Petoskey, Mi at

Great resource for Fathers

I've been meaning to talk briefly about Fathers for Good, an initiative for men by the Knights of Columbus, for some time now.

Fathers for Good

The site features tons of information for Catholic Fathers, who need all the help they can get raising good catholic children. I recently watched a great video titled Our Troubled Times by Psychiatrist Richard Fitzgibbons. He talks about men and their emotions and how to handle today's troubles in society. It's well worth watching (especially the part on manly virtues) and you can watch it here.

Also on the site is a section called Model Fathers, which features great information on two of my favorite saints and one of my favorite "saints" - St. Joseph, St. Thomas More, and Venerable Servant of God Father Michael McGivney (In March 2008, Pope Benedict XVI approved a decree recognizing the heroic virtue of Father McGivney, a parish priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford and found of the Knights of the Columbus, who died in 1890 at the age of 38).

I am a member of the Knights of Columbus and love the work they are doing to help Catholic Families. Every day I see more and more the battle ahead that we have to raise our children and it's good to know that we are not alone physically or spiritually. St. Joseph, St. Thomas More, and Venerable Father McGivney - Pray for Us!

Updates Are A'Comin!

We're back safely from our Thanksgiving Oklahoma Roadtrip and we had a wonderful time. I'll be posting pictures soon. Not long after our return we learned that the Belanger's are moving back to Lake Leelanau. Needless to say people are very excited!

Anyway, as soon as I catch some things up with the holiday's, I'll try to post some updates.

To help tide you over here's a classic picture of high school chum Chad Boone and myself in our tuxedos. We wore these to help advertise and ended up with free tux rentals for prom, yeah! I thought the hat was a nice touch, but my nephews asked if I was a pilgrim!

Prom Tuxes

Of course, for the full effect, click the image for a larger version!